If you follow the Lesser Caucasus mountain range north and west to its natural end point, you’ll descend from alpine pastures through the temperate rainforests of Adjara before being spat out near the seaside resort and port city of Batumi, a sprawl of casinos and beach bars and high-rise hotels that attracts Russian, Turkish and Armenian holidaymakers for partying and pleasure. It sits in stark contrast with the village of Nrnadzor at the opposite end of our route, 1,500km of hiking away in the mountainous semi-desert landscape of the Iranian-Armenia border, in which you’re more likely to get invited into a crumbling house for a shot of homemade vodka than overcharged in a rooftop bar for a gin & tonic. But that is the kind of diversity you should expect to find if you design a hiking route along a mountain range and accept all you find along it.
Take a road trip from the north to the south of Armenia and – if you’ve got your eyes open and are looking out the window – you’ll likely be struck by the vast, uninhabited moorlands between the provinces of Syunik and Vayots Dzor. As the diminutive nation of Armenia narrows to its most slender […]
The Geghama Mountains are one of the Caucasus’s most unique natural landscapes. Situated in central Armenia between Lake Sevan and the Ararat plain, this volcanic field of lava domes and cinder cones is almost otherworldly in its appearance, and entirely unlike anywhere else in the Caucasus we’ve explored. A couple of weeks ago we were […]
Thursday 6am. The streets are empty. Into Georgina go backpacks, camera cases, clutter. Ale climbs on the roof and straps down the packing crates. One last check of the vehicle – yes, we’re ready for a 10-day excursion to northern Georgia. Time to hit the road. It’ll be Ale and Vahagn’s first trip to Svaneti. […]
4:45am – Faint, but unmistakeable: the pre-dawn light is growing. Birdsong confirms this. Against my instincts, which tell me to get out of my sleeping bag and burst from the tent to soak up the sunrise, I roll over and go back to sleep.